Time Warner, Viacom Reach Zero-Hour Deal

Cable provider keeps grip on Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2009 9:57 AM CST
Time Warner Customers can sing Hallelujah, because MTV shows - like the MTV New Years Special seen here - won't be going dark.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
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(Newser) – The countdown to the New Year was a frantic one for Viacom and Time Warner. The companies had set a midnight deadline in their tense negotiations to keep Viacom’s networks—which include MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon—on the massive cable provider. As the ball dropped, Viacom granted a 1-hour extension, and the sides reached a deal soon afterward, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Time Warner said it was sorry its customers “had to endure a day of public disagreement,” during which Viacom deployed newspaper ads that featured Dora the Explorer stating its case. Viacom had been seeking a 12% fee increase, which Time Warner had balked at, citing the state of the economy.